The Biden administration and China are on the same page, at least in one area.
The Associated Press reports that the United States and China have agreed to cooperate with each other in order to fight climate change.
This agreement to cooperate was reportedly reached by John Kerry, President Joe Biden’s special envoy for climate, and, Xie Zhenhua, Kerry’s Chinese counterpart. The two participated in talks last week, and just recently they released a joint statement.
The statement says that the United States and China “are committed to cooperating with each other and with other countries to tackle the climate crisis, which must be addressed with the seriousness and urgency that it demands.”
The statement also says that the United States and China would enhance “their respective actions and cooperating in multilateral processes, including the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement.”
Kerry spoke a bit more about his meeting with Xie during a press conference in Seoul on Sunday. There, he called the joint statement “strong” and said that the two countries agreed on “critical elements on where we have to go.”
Considering China’s coal usage, Kerry said that he has had many discussions with the Chinese about how to transition away from coal. “I have never shied away from expressing our views shared by many, many people that it is imperative to reduce coal, everywhere,” Kerry added.
This week, President Biden is planning on holding a Climate summit. He has invited 40 world leaders to the event.
It is expected that, during the summit, the United States and others are going to announce ambitious climate goals. It is also expected that the United States and others will pledge to help less financially well-off countries fight climate change.
It ought to be remembered that former President Donald Trump withdrew America from the Paris agreement because he and his administration considered the deal to be both ineffective and unfair. It was unfair, in part, because it didn’t hold China, the world’s biggest carbon emitter, to the same standards as others.
And, that is the worry here, that the Biden administration is going to enter America into another unfavorable deal that hurts its citizens. China is already making it clear that it will not be able to achieve the sort of climate goals being pushed by Kerry and others.
“For a big country with 1.4 billion people, these goals are not easily delivered,” Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng said on Friday. “Some countries are asking China to achieve the goals earlier. I am afraid this is not very realistic.”